Sunday, April 24, 2011

BOOK REPORT: One Big Happy Family

One Big Happy Family edited by Rebecca Walker

This book is a compellation of essays by 18 different writers about their families. Readers get a glimpse into the lives of “polyamory, open adoption, mixed marriage, househusbandry, single motherhood and other realities of truly modern love.” I can’t say I agree with all of the chosen lifestyles, but I did enjoy the journey through families very different from my own. I found a lot a can agree with and some things that definitely challenged me. The Vachons of Equally Shared Parenting even made a cameo.

I would recommend this as a good read for those who are exploring just what they want their family to be. It can be a challenge to re-imagine what a family is. The Bible says “. . . man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh" (Genesis 2:24 NIV). This coming together is creating a new thing, a new family. One that can take all the good from both their families and create something entirely new. The challenge is to learn from the less-than-good things and implement that learning into the functioning of the new family. Our pre-marital counselor started the discussion of what our families are and were. This exercise has grown into an ongoing conversation of how we want our new family to function.

Polyamory, not for us, but does seem to work for Jenny Block and her spouse. Open adoption or househusbandry, now those could be an option. It is interesting to see an exploration of different family systems; it is refreshing for them to be presented by those who believe in them the most. Overall a pleasant read and a nice break from strictly adoption related material.


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